School Business Manager

Job Description:

School business managers oversee the efficient day-to-day running of a school and support the headteacher and leadership team.

Job Category:

What you will do:

In this job, you’ll:

  • advise the headteacher and governors on financial policy
  • manage the school budget
  • order goods and services and pay suppliers and contractors
  • keep accounts up to date for inspection
  • oversee the maintenance of school buildings
  • recruit, train and manage school support staff
  • make sure school security and health and safety policies are followed
  • develop the school’s marketing and communications strategy
  • manage the school’s administrative systems
  • report to the headteacher, governors, and local authority and government departments


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of human resources and employment law
  • business management skills
  • customer service skills
  • maths and financial skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a School Business Manager typically involves a combination of educational qualifications, skills, and experience. While there are no specific subjects required for this role, you should focus on subjects that build a strong foundation for a career in business and school management. Here are some subjects that can be beneficial:

  1. Mathematics: Strong math skills are important for financial management, budgeting, and data analysis, all of which are critical aspects of school business management.
  2. English Language: Effective communication is essential in a role that involves interacting with staff, parents, and external stakeholders, as well as preparing reports and documents.
  3. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using technology is important for managing school databases, financial systems, and communication tools.
  4. Business Studies or Economics: If your school offers these subjects, they can provide a basic understanding of business principles and economics, which are relevant to school management.
  5. Accounting or Finance (if available): If your school offers accounting or finance subjects, they can be valuable for understanding financial management and budgeting.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could do a foundation degree or degree, or a professional qualification, in a subject like:

  • accountancy
  • business management
  • public administration
  • human resources


You can start by doing a business administrator advanced apprenticeship or school business professional higher apprenticeship.

You can also complete a degree apprenticeship for managers and senior school leaders, depending on your experience.

Employers will set their own entry requirements.


You may be able to start as a school administrator or secretary. With experience, you could apply for promotion to office manager or business manager.

If you’re already working as a school administrator you could take a qualification like the:

  • School Business Management
  • School Business Leadership

Direct Application

You could apply directly to become a school business manager if you have a strong background in finance or management. An accountancy qualification may be needed for some jobs, and you’ll need experience of motivating people.

Experience of working in education will be an advantage.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 35-39 hour of work. You could be required to work evenings attending events or appointments.

You could work in an office, at a school or at a college.

Career Path & Progression:

You could develop your career by moving to a larger school or college with a bigger budget. You could also move into financial or educational management with a local authority.